Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

BSOD hell, can't find issue ...

Last response: in Systems
Share
January 13, 2014 10:26:08 AM

So I've got an old LGA 775 system from early 09.

In 2011 it suddenly stopped working one day, would blue screen and instantly restart when loading Vista (endless loop). Rolling back and safe mode had no effect. Fortunately, at that time I had just bought a new MacBook Pro for work, and I didn't need the PC so it just started collecting dust.

Now, I've dusted off my ole PC and thought I might get it working again just to catch up on some of the games I couldn't get on my MBP (which are many).

Started off by trying to wipe the HDD with a fresh install of Windows 7, but it started crashing (BSOD) with a whole host of hardware/driver related errors. Sometimes I might make it to the point where it was "decompressing files" and other times I wouldn't even make it past the Windows logo.

So looking at my situation (what did and did not work), I narrowed the problem down to either the processor, RAM or motherboard.

I went out and bought new RAM, plugged that in, didn't solve the problem.

Thought maybe I would update the BIOS, did that, didn't solve the problem.

Now, I did notice that my CPU was running very hot (80 degrees celsius when idling) which is way high for a Core 2 Quad. I physically looked at the processor and found that the heatsink was covered in a thick layer of dust, preventing the fan from circulating air. I cleaned that off and the temperature dropped down to 30 degrees celsius when idling.

I thought that maybe there could be some heat damage, but I've had processors shut themselves down before due to heat and they always restarted just fine after they cooled down. So I have a hard time believing that the chip is fried. After all, if the CPU was fried, would it start at all?

Which leads me to believe that something on the motherboard is bad.

Does anyone have any advice for more accurately diagnosing my problem so I don't have to resort to simply swapping out every component for new ones?

I do have the Ultimate Boot CD, but there are so many diagnostic tools, I have no clue which ones to use ... and half the ones I try just end up crashing.

More about : bsod hell find issue

January 13, 2014 10:44:08 AM

Whenever I had loading issues during boot, it was usually the hard drive corrupted. have you tried getting another hard drive and trying to boot that up in your computer?
January 13, 2014 2:47:48 PM

eldapeeze said:
Whenever I had loading issues during boot, it was usually the hard drive corrupted. have you tried getting another hard drive and trying to boot that up in your computer?

Just ran out and got a new hard drive, popped it in, tried to install Windows ... BSOD!

The issue really does seem to be a solid-state component.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but when you boot from a Windows DVD, the installer get's run through the processor, loaded into RAM, cache and from the DVD drive ... it doesn't put anything on the HDD until it actually starts installing (and I never get that far).

If that statement is correct, than I feel the issue lies with either the MB or the CPU ... and more likely the MB because while I've never had a CPU go bad on me, I've had more than one MB go bad on me in the past.

The system boots up fine, I can get into the BIOS, it detects all the hardware correctly, it boots from the CD but then as soon as it starts trying to load the Windows installer, it blue screens (which if I remember correctly, is a windows only error screen, not a BIOS/DOS feature.)

It just seems to me like the data moving moving between the RAM (which I know is good), the processor and the DVD drive is getting corrupted ... like the data is dropping out so it can't load the installer correctly.
Related resources
January 13, 2014 2:57:50 PM

The majority of BSOD issues I've dealt with over the years have ended up being related to RAM. I know you said you bought new RAM, but did you manually set the RAM speed/timings/voltage to the manufacturer specs in the BIOS? Have you run Memtest86+ to test for RAM errors? That's where I would start.
January 13, 2014 3:25:44 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
The majority of BSOD issues I've dealt with over the years have ended up being related to RAM. I know you said you bought new RAM, but did you manually set the RAM speed/timings/voltage to the manufacturer specs in the BIOS? Have you run Memtest86+ to test for RAM errors? That's where I would start.

That's what I thought initially and I did run Memtest. Each stick of memory, tested individually, passed and failed after being tested multiple times. The test is inconclusive because there seems to be no continuity ... and the chances of 4 sticks being bad (2 old, 2 new) are pretty low.

I've even tried installing with only 1 DIMM installed (trying all 4 DIMMs) and they all blue screen prior to installation.

I've tried installing with only 1 DIMM in different slots, same result.

That's why i think its a problem with the data moving through the MB, in transit to and from the CPU, DVD and RAM.

Unfortunately, there aren't too many motherboards out there that still support socket 775 ... trying to figure out which one is worth buying, or if this PC is lost.
January 13, 2014 11:06:47 PM

Bolthouse said:

Just ran out and got a new hard drive, popped it in, tried to install Windows ... BSOD!

.


LOL. Sorry to make you get a new Hard drive, I was hoping you had one lying around just in case the HDD wasn't the problem so you didn't have to spend money.
January 14, 2014 12:05:55 AM

Unfortunately no PC lasts forever. Companies ave a clear strategy. Hence the warranty times and the dicontinued sockets and chips. That being said, I think its the m/b also.

my 775 died 10 years ago :( 
January 14, 2014 5:42:55 AM

mike789 said:
Unfortunately no PC lasts forever. Companies ave a clear strategy. Hence the warranty times and the discontinued sockets and chips. That being said, I think its the m/b also.

my 775 died 10 years ago :( 


That's weird, Intel only released it 7.5 years ago?

Thing is, hardware is rapidly outpacing software, unless you're trying to run everything on ultra in 4K.

I just played through Bioshock Infinite and Far Cry 3 on my laptop (which is weaker for gaming than my old PC). I had to ratchet down some settings, but both games looked and played very well.

I started noticing this hardware/software disparity back in 2009 with my now dead PC. I remember reading reviews about how Crysis would, "Kill every system it came across!"I loaded it up, went to the full resolution of my monitor, settings on ultra ... and was getting like 25fps ... film is 24fps and video is 30fps ... what's all this complaining about 60+fps? (OK, I know it's a little different with gaming ... especially competitive gaming.)

My point is, I pulled the settings back to high and the game ran at like 40fps and all I lost was some particles and light rays coming through the trees. The game still looked amazing, played fine and was a hell of a lot of fun.

Also, it should be noted that i'm from a generation where hardware capabilities doubled or tripled every 6 months (remember the 386/486 era). Today, when hardware leaps by 50% over a course of 2-3 years ... obsolescence is much less of a thing.

WHIPPER SNAPPERS!

Sorry, random philosophical off-topic there.
January 14, 2014 5:45:27 AM

eldapeeze said:
Bolthouse said:

Just ran out and got a new hard drive, popped it in, tried to install Windows ... BSOD!

.


LOL. Sorry to make you get a new Hard drive, I was hoping you had one lying around just in case the HDD wasn't the problem so you didn't have to spend money.


Not a problem, Best Buy, full refund within 15 days even if it's open. Returning it today ... along with the RAM I bought last week.
!